Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

“You are not the prettiest, or the thinnest”: Victoria Beckham pens open letter to her teenage self

rexfeatures_5682734g.jpg

At a glance, the Victoria Beckham of today – the dreadfully chic, phenomenally successful and critically-lauded fashion designer, wife and mother-of-four – doesn’t have a great deal in common with the teenage Victoria Adams.

But in a letter written to her 18-year-old self, Beckham makes it clear that she’s not embarrassed by her past – not even some of her old outfits.

And Beckham had some words of solace for her anxious younger self.

“I know you are struggling right now,” Beckham writes in the letter, published in the October issue of British Vogue. “You are not the prettiest, or the thinnest, or the best at dancing at the Latin Theatre Arts College.

“You have never properly fitted in, although you are sharing your Surrey school digs with really nice girls.

“You have bad acne. You think the Principal has put you at the back of the end-of-year show (in a humiliatingly bright purple Lycra leotard) because you are too plump to go at the front. (This may or may not be true.)”

But – as we all know – things could only get better for VB. Here, we’ve collected some of her choice words for her younger self… 

victoria-beckham

Victoria Beckham - then Adams - aged 20, with Emma Bunton just after their Spice Girls audition.

On love

Beckham, who has previously admitted to not “really” knowing who her husband David was when they first met in 1997 (“I was never that into football”), also has some tongue-in-cheek sporting advice for the younger Victoria.

“Learn more about football,” she says, “especially the off-side rule.”


Read more: Why are British teenage girls becoming more unhappy?


And she shares with her teenage self the story of how she’ll meet her future husband.

“Yes, love at first sight does exist. It will happen to you in the Manchester United players' lounge – although you will get a little drunk, so exact details are hazy,” she writes.

victoria-david-beckham-90s

Victoria and David Beckham at Heathrow Airport in 1997, shortly after they started dating.

Beckham also reveals that, when they meet for the first time, she’s much more famous than David: he hasn’t yet made the first Manchester United team, and prefers hanging out with his family to laddy banter.

“While the other football players stand at the bar drinking with their mates, you will see David standing aside with his family. And he has such a cute smile. You, too, are close to your family, and you will think how similar he feels to you,” she says.

“He's going to ask for your number. (He still has the London-to-Manchester plane ticket on which you wrote it.)”

On fashion

Beckham refuses to be embarrassed about any of the sartorial decisions she made in her youth – because, she says, she always understood that fashion was meant to be enjoyable.

“You are going to have so much fun with your clothes - PVC catsuits; chokers that say absurd things; weird spiky blonde hair,” she writes.

victoria-beckham

What weird spiky blonde hair? Victoria Beckham in 2007.

And despite the insecurity that plagued her as a teenager, it seems that Posh Spice later developed a glorious sense of who-cares confidence when it came to clothes.

"It will never occur to you that you appear ridiculous,” she observes. “You will turn up at awards ceremonies resembling a drag queen. But I look back at you and smile. It will add interest to your life to go from one extreme to the other. I love the fact that you feel free to express yourself.”


Read more: Mel C pens powerful essay on why she'll never do a Spice Girls reunion


Today, Beckham runs her own highly-respected, eponymous fashion label, and she tells her younger self: “Fashion will take on added stature one day, but try not to be stifled by it.”

As a woman in her forties, Beckham warns her younger self, she’ll develop a more pared-down approach to fashion. “You will learn, as you mature, to swap heels for Stan Smith trainers, mini dresses for crisp white shirts.”

However, she says, one thing will never change.

“You will never be one of those people who just roll out of bed.”

Images: Rex Features

Related

mel c.jpg

Mel C reveals why she'll never do a Spice Girls reunion

victoria beckham estee lauder.jpg

Victoria Beckham unveils makeup collaboration with Estée Lauder

caitlin moran.jpg

Read Caitlin Moran's open letter to troubled teenage girls

miranda-hart-olympics.JPG

“A genuine, heartfelt thank you”: Miranda Hart pens letter to Team GB

vb.JPG

Everyone is loving Victoria Beckham’s high fashion Pokémon characters

alicia keys.jpg

Alicia Keys' #nomakeup revolution: “I don’t want to cover up anymore"

More

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Ellen Degeneres’ sweet anniversary message to Pink keeping it real

by Nicola Colyer
17 Aug 2017

Chris Brown tried to excuse his attack on Rihanna, and it’s not OK

“Violence is a choice he made – and he alone is responsible for it”

by Kayleigh Dray
17 Aug 2017

Serena Williams on how skin colour affects what people think of her

“I feel like people think I’m mean”

by Amy Swales
17 Aug 2017

This Hocus Pocus star’s pregnancy announcement is pure 90s perfection

“I smell children…”

by Kayleigh Dray
17 Aug 2017

Anna Faris on knowing when to call time on an unhappy relationship

“Don’t be afraid to seek your independence”

by Kayleigh Dray
17 Aug 2017

Why Taylor Swift’s sexual assault verdict is a victory for womankind

The pop star has completely changed the narrative

by Kayleigh Dray
16 Aug 2017

Paris Hilton defends Donald Trump from sexual assault allegations

“I think [the women] are just trying to get attention and get fame...”

by Moya Crockett
16 Aug 2017

The personality trait that Mindy Kaling hopes to pass on to her baby

Kaling gets real about motherhood as she confirms her pregnancy

by Kayleigh Dray
15 Aug 2017

Paris Hilton describes the emotional fallout of her 2001 sex tape

“I could not leave my house for months”

by Amy Swales
15 Aug 2017

Taylor Swift wins sexual assault case for “anyone who feels silenced”

“My hope is to help those whose voices should also be heard”

by Amy Swales
15 Aug 2017